Products come and go, but brands can last forever. Take the iPod. The once dominant market leader in mobile music, and former Apple cash cow, making up approximately 40% of the company’s total revenue in 2006. The same product that suffered an epic fall from grace just eight years later, shrinking to 1% of the corporation’s total revenue by 2014.
It’s a familiar product narrative. When you’re hot, you’re hot. When you’re not, you’re not. But what’s unfamiliar is despite the demise of one of their most successful commodities, Apple as a company grew by over 800% in that same period. The brand prospered under duress. Why?
Because during those eight years Apple was thoughtfully building loyalty around an overall company brand that proved much stronger than any single product. Today, people are just as likely to buy a Mac for the logo and how it makes them feel, as they are the functionality of the computer itself. That’s the hack. Products serve a purpose, brands give purpose.
Which one are you building?